Death of a Ladies' Man

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Dave Thompson
One of the most controversial partnerships in either man's career was inaugurated the day Leonard Cohen and Phil Spector decided to make an album together. In the course of just three weeks together, the pair had written 15 new songs, described by Spector as "some great f*ckin' music." And though the recording took somewhat longer, Death of a Ladies' Man still emerged as an album that, while it certainly lives up to Spector's billing, can also be viewed as the most challenging record of both Cohen and Spector's careers. Certainly, Cohen fans were absolutely taken aback by the widescreen wash that accompanied their idol's customary tones, and many hastened to complain ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Dave Thompson
One of the most controversial partnerships in either man's career was inaugurated the day Leonard Cohen and Phil Spector decided to make an album together. In the course of just three weeks together, the pair had written 15 new songs, described by Spector as "some great f*ckin' music." And though the recording took somewhat longer, Death of a Ladies' Man still emerged as an album that, while it certainly lives up to Spector's billing, can also be viewed as the most challenging record of both Cohen and Spector's careers. Certainly, Cohen fans were absolutely taken aback by the widescreen wash that accompanied their idol's customary tones, and many hastened to complain about the almost unbridled sexuality and brutal voyeurism that replaced Cohen's traditionally lighter touch -- as if the man who once rhymed "unmade bed" with "giving me head" was any stranger whatsoever to explicitness. It is also true that a cursory listen to the album suggests that the whole thing was simply a ragbag of crazy notions thrown into the air to see where they landed. Pay attention, however, and it quickly makes sense. The brawling "Memories" bowls along, an echo-laden vaudeville drinking song that invites everyone who hears it to join in with the so-perfectly timed refrain of "won't you let me see...your naked body." "Iodine," meanwhile, swings on one of Nino Tempo's most seductive rhythm arrangements, while Steve Douglas' sax squalls behind Cohen and co-singer Ronee Blakley's rambunctious duet; and anybody looking for a dance smash to sidle wholly out of left field could turn to "Don't Go Home with Your Hard-On," a number that not only captured an almost irresistible funk edge, but also roped Bob Dylan and Allen Ginsberg into its rambunctious backing chorus. Cohen himself has never been happy with the record -- Spector's mix, he complained, stripped "the guts out of the record," but when he suggested the producer have another go, his entreaties were ignored. Finally agreeing to write the album off as "an experiment that failed" and trust that his fans would be able to pick out its "real energizing capacities," Cohen allowed it to be released as Spector left it -- and then effectively retired for the next five years. His judgment, and that most commonly passed down by rock history, has not been borne out by time. Alongside Songs of Love and Hate, Death of a Ladies' Man represents the peak of Cohen's first decade or so as a recording artist, both lyrically and stylistically stepping into wholly untapped musical directions -- and certainly setting the stage for the larger scale productions that would mark out his music following his return. It might even be his masterpiece.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/25/1990
  • Label: Sony
  • UPC: 074644428629
  • Catalog Number: 44286

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Leonard Cohen Primary Artist, Vocals
Allen Ginsberg Background Vocals
Bob Dylan Vocals, Background Vocals
Conte Candoli Trumpet
Terry Gibbs Percussion, Vibes
Bill Mays Keyboards
Don Menza Flute, Saxophone, Wind
Don Randi Keyboards
Pete Jolly Keyboards
Jesse Ed Davis Guitar
Barry Goldberg Keyboards
Clydie King Vocals, Background Vocals
Jim Keltner Drums
Phil Spector Guitar, Keyboards, Background Vocals
Ronee Blakley Vocals, Background Vocals
Sneaky Pete Kleinow Guitar, Pedal Steel Guitar, Slide Guitar
Hal Blaine Drums
Bobby Bruce Fiddle, Violin
Brenda Bryant Vocals, Background Vocals
Billy Diez Vocals, Background Vocals
Oma Drake Vocals, Background Vocals
Gene Estes Percussion
Venetta Fields Vocals, Background Vocals
Gerald Garrett Vocals, Background Vocals
Tom Hensley Keyboards
David Isaac Guitar
Dan Kessel Organ, Synthesizer, Guitar, Keyboards, Background Vocals
David Kessel Guitar, Background Vocals
Michael Lang Keyboards
Charles Loper Trombone
Jay Migliori Saxophone
Art Munson Guitar
Ray Neapolitan Bass, Electric Bass, Upright Bass
Al Perkins Pedal Steel Guitar, Slide Guitar
Ray Pohlman Bass, Guitar
Emil Radocchia Percussion
Jack Redman Trombone
Jack Redmond Trombone
Bob Robitaille Synthesizer
Devra Robitaille Synthesizer
Julia Tillman Waters Vocals, Background Vocals
Bill Thedford Background Vocals
Oren Waters Background Vocals
Lorna Willard Vocals, Background Vocals
Art Blaine Guitar
Mike Long Keyboards
Julia Tillman Background Vocals
Steve Douglas Flute, Saxophone, Wind
Sherlie Matthews Background Vocals
Bob Zimmitti Percussion
Gerry Garrett Background Vocals
Technical Credits
Leonard Cohen Composer
Don Menza Horn Arrangements
Nino Tempo Arranger
Phil Spector Composer, Producer, Vocal Arrangements, rhythm arrangement
Larry Levine Engineer
Devra Robitaille Producer
Bruce Gold Engineer
John Cabalka Art Direction
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